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Alzheimer’s Friendly Business, free training for Orange area businesses

As September is Alzheimer’s awareness month, Home Instead Senior Care® office serving the Golden Triangle area is launching a new campaign designed to make the community more Alzheimer’s friendly. Through the Alzheimer’s Friendly BusinessSM program, the Home Instead Senior Care office will provide free training to local businesses to help equip employees with information and resources needed to welcome families who are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, according to a press release.

“We have offered the training for over a year,” Home Instead Manager for Jefferson, Orange, and Hardin counties, Janet Gunter said. “We now have a newer, expanded program available on the website now.”

Gunter said the training program offers insight and resources for caregivers and families of those suffering from the disease.

“The program is available to caregivers, family members or anyone living with the disease,” Gunter said. “It is also for businesses.”

In a recent survey of Alzheimer’s caregivers, 74-percent reported that they and their loved ones have become more isolated from the community as a result of the disease. Furthermore, 85-percent reported that they feel a reduced quality of life due to isolation. 

The program is designed to help others understand how to handle certain situations while allowing an Alzheimer’s patient to retain their dignity.

Research shows many persons, upon diagnosis, feel isolated and uncomfortable with leaving their house for fear of creating a disturbance.

“For many caregivers, the unpredictable nature of the disease can make going out in public with their loved one intimidating,” Charlie Holder, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Jefferson, Orange, and Hardin counties, said.  “Our research shows that family caregivers might be reluctant to frequent public places because of the behaviors that could be associated with the disease.”

According to Alzheimer’s Disease International, the number of people with dementia worldwide is expected to grow to a staggering 75.6 million by 2030 and 135.5 million in 2050. As of 2013, there were an estimated 44.4 million people with dementia worldwide.

“Given the statistics, most businesses that deal with the public will be serving people with Alzheimer’s and their families,” Holder said. “It’s critical that local businesses start working now to build Alzheimer’s friendly communities to better serve their customers with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.”

To complete the training, employees are asked to work through an interactive, online module available at AlzheimersFriendlyBusiness.com. Once the 30-minute training is successfully completed, businesses will receive a window cling with the Alzheimer’s Friendly Business designation. The designation will be valid for two years.

For more information about the Home Instead Senior Care network’s Alzheimer’s Friendly Business program and to access additional resources, please visit www.AlzheimersFriendlyBusiness.com or call 409-892-7494.

An Alzheimer’s advice app for advice at one’s fingertips is available at homeinstead.com/216